In Which Red Oaks Takes Us To A Certain Time And Place

Something Better

by DICK CHENEY

Red Oaks
creators Gregory Jacobs and Joe Gangemi

It was truly disturbing listening to BBC coverage of the referendum on Scottish independence. Pundits trying to pretend to be neutral resulted in more ehhhhs than when Mel Gibson made his speech to the Anti-Defamation League. (The amount of Braveheart memes that spawned from this event was also intolerable.) The British were acting like, “Hey, Scotland has something really great, why would they even think of looking elsewhere?” Scotland responded, “OK fine.”

David Myers (the pimply Craig Roberts) has roughly the same situation on his hands. He is in a long term relationship with a wonderful looking blonde Karen (Gage Golightly). She is the yoga instructor at a Jewish country club in New Jersey, and he is the junior tennis pro. On the surface, things seem great:

What was life even like before AppleWatch?

There is always a very good reason that a man is more interested in a brunette than a blonde. Some of these reasons include

1) colorblindness

2) recently saw an episode of Chelsea Lately and was like, “I’m out”

3) Listened to Nina Simone’s “Black Is The Color Of My True Love’s Hair” during transcendental meditation

4) common sense

5) “the grass is always greener”

6) Neil Strauss’ The Game

7) Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park

8) Any movie starring Reese Witherspoon’s obsequious chin.

Actually, what am I saying, who would pass up a yoga instructor for a human sized mouse?

When David spots a Molly Ringwald-type watching him play tennis against the country club’s president Mr. Getty (Paul Reiser), he loses his focus and concentration. Her mystery spans the eons; there is no way she would ever let him take her on the greens of the club’s single golf course, so of course she must be more desirable than his current girlfriend.

someone kissing your face while mosquitoes bite your bare thighs is a most unpleasant sensation

Karen wants to move in with David after high school. She thinks they should get a cute dog together and take the little pup for walks. She will pursue her modeling career quietly, and only when David strictly approves of what she is doing. (Unfortunately Terry Richardson was still alive in the 80s, but such danger comes with the territory.) David is not as thrilled by the life Karen has set up for him.

David closely observes the relationship of his parents, portrayed by Richard Kind and Jennifer Grey with the kind of aplomb that the Anti-Defamation League should probably look into when they complete their Mel Gibson investigation. David’s father has recently suffered a heart attack, but this incident has resulted in only more bickering and stress.

Jennifer Grey, we hardly knew ye

Watching Grey without her signature schnozz is still very difficult for me, whereas my wife Lynne wondered aloud, “She couldn’t throw on a little make up? She’s on television” while doing her Joan Rivers impression. David’s parents are not in love with each other. There is no passion there: his mother may be a closeted lesbian, and his father has a predilection for Asian women, both of which are so noxious a stereotype that you might notice it if you weren’t too busy observing the glory of Karen in her natural habitat:

Getting menopausal women to wear blue eyeshadow should have been the focus of Michelle Obama’s wellness initiative

Sure, Red Oaks does start to feel a bit cobbled together after awhile, but David Gordon Green excels at giving us something that is completely familiar and filling it with new surprises. It makes a dark sense that people stay in unhappy relationships while they continue to pursue new ones. Could Scotland maybe find a better God? They’d rather have England on the hook if they need them. I’ll get my coat.

Where was I? New surprises. The senior pro at the club is Nash (Ennis Esmer). After David lets Paul Reiser, the club president, take a few sets off him, David’s job is in jeopardy if he can’t beat the older man after losing a set. He wins while the brunette watches him from the cheap seats.

life was so good before popped collars

It turns out that the lingering brunette is Paul Reiser’s daughter. I think they eventually had a kid on Mad About You, didn’t they? That relationship sure took its sweet time. Paul and Helen had the most amazing kitchen. It was like an enclosed room with counter space everywhere. It was super-cozy, and Helen Hunt’s forehead wasn’t super-massive yet. Paul Reiser really had it all. Now he just looks tired, cranky and sick of starring in pilots that don’t get picked up:

“I was with a blonde woman for two decades, David. Pass.”

The best part about Dirty Dancing was the class struggle, and how Patrick Swayze was trailer trash that no one wanted around their daughter. The second P. Swayze saw that schnozz, he sang the Jewel song, “You Were Meant For Me” and they danced together. (It’s been awhile since I’ve seen Dirty Dancing.) Jennifer Grey was radiant in her role as a Jewish man’s daughter,  of that much I can assure you.

Skye (Alexandra Socha) is a lot less charming. Her name isn’t really funny, but her resemblance to a brunette Molly Ringwald is intense. Red Oaks will probably never make it to series, since it seems to run out of steam on its own concept about twenty minutes in to its first episode. There’s something interesting here, but not enough to commit to. I’m going to go ask Lynne if she wants to pull my pants down to my ankles and scratch my mosquito bites. Talk to you later.

Dick Cheney is the senior contributor to This Recording.

If you watch Animal House today, all those guys would have life sentences in jail.

“Not a Second More” – The Lees of Memory (mp3)

“(I Want You To) Let It Flow” – The Lees of Memory (mp3)


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